Art history major chosen for internship at The Guggenheim in New York City

Leave it to a sister to jump on the opportunity to tease. When Chapman University student Areni Nuyujukian ’16 received word last week that she had been accepted for a prestigious summer internship at The Guggenheim in New York City, her sister joked, “You already work at a Guggenheim.”

True enough, Nuyujukian is a student assistant helping manage the activities of Chapman University’s campus Guggenheim Gallery, built in 1975 with a gift from Robert and Shirley Guggenheim. The irony was not lost on Nuyujukian.

“It makes me laugh,” she says.

But, of course, Nuyujukian’s internship will engage her in a summer of professional experience unlike any other. Nuyujukian will assist two curators at the Guggenheim in preparing shows at the museum’s iconic Frank Lloyd Wright building upcoming in 2016 and 2017. The shows she will work on include exhibitions on American abstract painter Agnes Martin and the nineteenth-century French Salon de la Rose + Croix.

It all began with research for an art history paper. Nuyujukian says Justin Walsh, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Art, connected her with one of the curators who was an expert on an artist Nuyujukian was researching.

This will be her second internship in a leading museum. Last summer, Nuyujukian interned in the curatorial department of South Asian and Himalayan Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

It’s the best way to spend a summer, the Fullerton resident says.

“I’ve always had a passion for art, but knew I didn’t want to be an artist. The relationship between someone looking at a piece of artwork and writing about it interests me,” she says. “What really gives me sleepless nights is figuring out what these objects mean and how they interact with society.”

Dawn Bonker

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